For Immediate Release
April 30, 2003
Court prohibits Jehovah’s Witnesses to meet in Tajikistan
TURSUNZADE, Tajikistan—On April 25, 2003, Judge Davlatbek Zabirov fined Grigoriy Puchenkov and Maksudov Sukhrob for holding religious meetings of Jehovah’s Witnesses in a private home in TursunZade. Judge Zabirov stated that more than two persons were prohibited from meeting together without registration.
“Jehovah’s Witnesses have been registered federally in Tajikistan since January 15, 1997,” said Russian lawyer Arli Chimirov. “There is no doubt that the Tajikistan constitution and legislation allow believers to meet and worship without hindrance by the authorities. Unfortunately, unchallenged administrative fines sometimes lead to criminal investigations and prosecutions. Therefore, it is good that Puchenkov and Sukhrob will appeal.”
There are about 360 persons associated with Jehovah’s Witnesses in Tajikistan.
Contact: J. R. Brown, telephone: (718) 560-5600